Gitkin’s music exists somewhere between primal, rootsy memory and distant
exotic yearning — A dusty bordertown where the familiar blends imperceptibly into
the enchantingly foreign.
After a long and fruitful run as a bandleader with relentlessly touring party-rockers
Pimps Of Joytime and a Grammy-nominated country blues collaboration with
Cedric Burnside, multi-instrumentalist Brian J set out to “explore tonalities I’d
never messed with,” as he puts it.
Reviews of Gitkin’s first two LP’s grappled with descriptors, tagging it vaguely as
“cinematic” and comparing it favorably with Khruangbin. True, the music is largely
wordless, emotionally evocative, and guitar driven. But it possesses an alluring
alchemy all its own.
Gitkin’s first release, 2018’s well-received Five Star Motel, amply demonstrated
his ease with earthy funk and comfortably-cut rhythm. On his follow up album, Safe Passage, the itinerant guitar slinger broadened his already rich
palette with melodies informed by Greek and Middle Eastern modalities, Peruvian
Chicha and Tuareg Saharan guitar styles. No gimmick, this juxtaposition of gut-
bucket blues and funk low-end with unexpectedly twisting lead phrases highlights
the intense flavors found in each savory ingredient.
Gitkin’s production radiates character and warmth, leaning on soft-focus vintage
mics, dubby spring reverbs and the quirks of an analog tape machine.
Gitkin is slated to release his third full length album on March 17, 2023 with singles dropping leading up.